Riverbed study highlights gaps in app performance among businesses

Jerry M. Kennelly, chairman and CEO of Riverbed
Jerry M. Kennelly, chairman and CEO of Riverbed

Riverbed Technology has announced the results of the Riverbed Global Application Performance Survey 2015, a global survey of business decision-makers on the business impact of application performance.

The survey has revealed a major performance gap between the needs of business and IT’s current ability to deliver – 96 percent of executives agree that optimal enterprise application performance is critical to achieving optimal business performance.

On the other hand, 94 percent of executives say the poor performance of enterprise applications has negatively impacted their work, and 59 percent say it impacts their work at least weekly. This performance gap is causing a series of problems for companies, from lost revenue and customers to lower morale to negative impact on brand image.

Companies universally agree that business performance relies on application performance. And yet nice out of 10 organisations suffer from poor performance on a regular basis. One cause of this performance gap is the move to hybrid IT.

“The results of the survey reflect what we’re hearing every day from IT leaders who are looking to deliver superior application performance in the midst of rapidly evolving, highly complex and hybrid IT environments,” said Jerry Kennelly, Chairman and CEO, Riverbed.  “With apps, data and end users everywhere today, companies need end-to-end application visibility, optimisation, and control everywhere as well to close the performance gap.  Riverbed helps organisations improve application performance to drive tangible business benefits and performance.”

Survey respondents specified their top three business benefits of optimal application performance versus the negative impact of poorly performing applications:

Benefits of optimal app performance     Pitfalls of poor app performance
  • Improved employee productivity (51 percent)
  • Time savings (50 percent)
  • Cost savings (47 percent)
  • Improved customer satisfaction (43 percent)
  • Faster delivery of products to market (33 percent)
  • Improved employee morale (31 percent)
  • Dissatisfied clients or customers (41 percent)
  • Contract delays (40 percent)
  • Missed a critical deadline (35 percent)
  • Lost clients or customers (33 percent)
  • Negative impact on brand (32 percent)
  • Decreased employee morale (29 percent)


Riverbed- Global Survey (2)
Source: Riverbed Global Survey 2015

The survey also found that executives would be willing to sacrifice a lot for applications to work at peak performance at all times. In fact, 28 percent would give up their full lunch break. They would also give up a portion of their programme budget (26 percent), caffeine (25 percent), and even chocolate (23 percent).

Given the universally recognised importance of optimal application performance, why is it so difficult for IT to deliver? Globally, 71 percent of respondents say they have felt frequently “in the dark” about why their enterprise applications are running slowly, spotlighting a disconnect between IT teams and business executives. And outside the Americas region, that number grows even larger at 76 percent in EMEA and 75 percent across Asia. Troublingly, executives can contribute to the problem as they try to work around it: 35 percent of respondents say they have used unsupported apps when corporate apps run slowly or stop working altogether, thus adding to infrastructure complexity with more “shadow IT.” Others have expressed frustration to colleagues (31 percent), taken an extended lunch (25 percent), used slow or down apps as an excuse for missing a deadline (28 percent), and even left work early (23 percent).

Cloud computing benefits business, but also adds complexity

Migrating apps to the cloud has delivered benefits to the business, but also some challenges.

Nearly all (95 percent) of respondents use cloud-based enterprise applications in their work, 79 percent say their company’s use of cloud-based enterprise applications will increase over the next two years, and 73 percent of respondents say that moving key enterprise applications to the cloud has increased productivity. Additional benefits of cloud-based enterprise apps include increased flexibility (50 percent), cost savings (39 percent), increased agility (36 percent), and increased collaboration (36 percent).

That’s the good news about cloud apps. The bad news is that hybrid IT contributes to the performance gap. There is an increased difficulty in getting end-to-end visibility into the complex, hybrid IT architectures that result from the use of both cloud and on-premises apps.

Eighty-four percent of respondents say they believe trouble-shooting application performance issues is more difficult in a hybrid IT environment. In fact, according to a survey by Forrester , the majority of companies (51 percent) say that application complexity is now their primary obstacle to mastering application performance. On average, respondents estimate it takes nearly seven hours for serious app problems to be completely resolved.

In summary, business executives overwhelmingly agree that application performance is critical to business performance and driving results, yet the vast majority are impacted by poor app performance, creating a performance gap.  At the same time, business executives are leveraging the power of cloud-based applications and hybrid networks to elevate productivity and create happier, more loyal customers and employees. However, cloud and hybrid environments add complexity and application performance challenges that can also negatively impact business operations, and too often executives feel “in the dark” as to why poor app performance is happening and how to stop it. To deliver superior application performance in today’s hybrid environments, enterprises need a comprehensive solution that provides end-to-end application visibility, optimisation and control.

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